Azerbaijan` s industrial map has considerably enriched thanks to economic diversification policy pursued under President Ilham Aliyev
Q: Azerbaijan has recently made great achievements in terms of economic achievements. What can you say of this success?
A: Under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, the reforms carried out in Azerbaijan and the sound policies have given an impetus to the comprehensive development of our country. Today Azerbaijan is looking to the future with very high hopes and optimism. The key to this is our economic independence, our economic strength and political will.
Over the last 10 years Azerbaijan has developed most rapidly in the world. The economy has grown 3.4 times. No other country has achieved such growth in the last 10 years. The main prerequisites for this are the reforms, the stability and public order observed in our country. Of course, stability and sound policies have created favorable conditions for the development of the economic sphere. InAzerbaijan, economicreformsarecomplementedbypoliticaltransformation
Azerbaijan launched its first telecommunications satellite into orbit and joined the group of countries with a space industry. All this proves that Azerbaijan is moving forward on the right path.
Q: Development of the non-oil sector is the focus of attention. We would like to learn your opinion on this…
A: In the last 10 years, a portion of the revenues obtained from oil and gas production has been specifically and under special programs channeled into the development of the non-oil sector, the establishment of new high-tech industrial facilities and diversification of the national economy. As a result, the non-oil sector has been registering an annual growth rate of 10 percent each year. In addition, the comprehensive support for private enterprise, the implementation of major investment programs, the establishment and reconstruction of the socioeconomic infrastructure, and the construction of competitive enterprises based on cutting-edge technologies have increased the volume of industrial production 2.7 times.
Q: 2014 is the Year of Industry. Could you please highlight measures taken by the government to develop industrial sector?
A: One of the goals on the agenda of the government today is to take advantage of the available potential to transform Azerbaijan into a powerful industrialized state. Certain work has already been done in the area of industrial diversification and modernization. We are engaging the existing natural and economic resources, creating new industrial estates and technology parks and speeding up the process of innovation. For this reason, 2014 has been declared the Year of Industry. A general plan of activities to be carried out this year has been prepared and approved. At the same time, there are plans to prepare and adopt the “State program on industrial development covering 2015-2020”. We believe that the experience we have accumulated and the overall economic potential of Azerbaijan will allow us the opportunity to meet these objectives.
The government of Azerbaijan has already started creating technological parks. With the potential to generate comparative and competitive advantages, industrial parks attract innovative businesses, leading to both more jobs and a larger tax base. They support start-ups, new enterprise incubation, the development of knowledge-based businesses, and offer an environment where local and international firms can interact with a particular centre of knowledge creation for mutual benefit.
A major advantage of industrial parks is that they provide an institutional framework, modern services and a physical infrastructure that may not be available in the rest of the country. Industrial parks use modern services, such as information and telecommunications as well as extension services that are critical for innovation, technological learning and company growth.
To promote innovative and high technologies, entrepreneurship, sustainable development of the non-oil sector and job creation, the Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park and Balakhani Industrial Park were established by Presidential decrees.
Q: What about the government support for entrepreneurship?
A: Over the last 10 years Azerbaijan has developed most rapidly in the world. The main prerequisites for this are the reforms, the stability and public order observed in our country. Of course, stability and sound policies have created favorable conditions for the development of the economic sphere.
Over the past 10 years the government has also paid great attention to the development of private enterprise. In particular, to enable entrepreneurs to invest in the economy, the government has implemented specific programs to attract financial resources.
Entrepreneurs were provided with concessional loans. Special recommendation plans were also prepared to facilitate business development. Loans are being allocated for the development of the most important sectors of the economy.
Financial resources are allocated, measures of consultative and advisory nature are taken, so that entrepreneurs could benefit from the received soft loans more effectively. This, of course, will have a positive impact on the future development of the processing industry and agriculture.